Seeds and sanguine expectations

Seeds and sanguine expectations

Last week, James and I tackled the springtime task of starting a vegetable garden at Gramma's—something I've never attempted in the past due to an egregiously non-green thumb. After seeing how well Brianna's garden grew last summer, I decided to give it a shot at my place.

So James and I planned, prepped, and planted with sanguine expectations seedlings would soon sprout.

Our eventual bounty will include...

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4 spring walks to take with grandkids

Put on your walking shoes and head out with the grandkiddos. Here, four ideas for savoring spring while out and about.

spring walks

Oooh, baby, baby

There's no shortage of babies in my neighborhood this time...

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Springtime fun: Bird nest cookies

The forecast at my place calls for snow tomorrow — despite being in the 70s today. Such is springtime in the Rockies.

Despite the snow, it is indeed spring, which is the perfect time for making Bird Nest Cookies. They're simple to make, and kids get a kick out of eating the eggs (M&Ms) out of the nest of sticks (chow mein noodles). There are several versions of such cookies on Pinterest, but I couldn't find any just like these that I've made for years and years.

I knew around Easter time I'd later make these with my grandsons, so I picked up pastel-colored M&Ms when the holiday ones were on sale. There's no rule saying the bird eggs in imaginary nests can't be primary colors, though, so use whatever color —and flavor — of M&Ms you desire.

bird nest cookies

What you need:

• 12-ounce package chow mein noodles

• 12 ounces vanilla candy coating, broken into the pre-cut squares

• 12-ounce package M&Ms (you likely won't use entire package, but that allows for nibbling)

What you do:

Line decorating space with wax paper. Provide each child a dish of eggs (M&Ms) for decorating.

In large bowl, empty bag of chow mein noodles. In small bowl, microwave the squares of candy coating 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between and until smooth. Do not overcook! It takes only about a total of one minute or two, depending on the wattage of your microwave.

When coating is melted, pour over noodles, then stir to even coat the noodles. Using a spoon, plop little piles of "nests" onto the wax paper, flattening slightly for a spot for the eggs. You can spend a lot of time perfecting the nests, or you can just let the kids have at it. I prefer the "have at it" method.

decorating cookies

The have at it part: Have the little ones quickly lay several eggs in each nest (har-har), pressing ever so slightly into the nest so they stick to the candy coating when it hardens.

decorating cookies

decorating cookies

bird nest cookies

Allow nests to cool completely until candy coating has hardened.

bird nest cookies

choosing a cookie  eating bird nest cookie

Makes about 30 nests, depending on size of each nest.

springtime cookies 

Today's question:

What is your favorite springtime food?